They Like Me, They Really Like Me!

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As you may remember, I follow a mostly vegan diet. I sway a little, usually when traveling, sometimes eating fish or seafood and every now and then an egg. I think the word is spreading among the animal kingdom.

Recently, in Colorado, I befriended a doe…a deer…a female deer. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I named her Darla and she was a dear. (It’s just too easy…) She was quite friendly and I fed her carrots, although she preferred the salty chips that my sister-in-law offered up. Darla was kind enough to let me scratch her behind the ear.

Darla the mule deer was a dear.

Darla the mule deer was a dear.

The following week, while visiting Washington, D.C., I met this engaging little fellow at the National Mall. I named him Earl, because I enjoy rhyming words when the opportunity arises, especially if it’s challenging. Let’s face it, not many words rhyme with squirrel. As a bonus, should I ever discover that Earl is actually a female, I can change her name to Pearl. He struck a pose when he saw me whip out my smart phone.

Earl

Earl the squirrel doing the Vogue thing.

He may or may not have been disappointed when I didn’t feed him, but I like to think that he and Darla were irresistibly drawn to me.They like me because they know I am not going to eat them.

When I Act Like Weird Al

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I often awake with a song in my head, but a few years ago, my sleeping self had put different words to the original tune. I’ve finally gotten around to completing what my subconscious mind started. I encourage parents of young children to add this song to mealtime, in hopes of adding some fun to eating vegetables.

The farmers market is a great place to sing this song with your kids.

The farmers market is a great place to sing this song with your kids.

It’s to be sung to the tune of The Fifth Dimension’s, Aquarius (Let the Sun Shine). If you are unfamiliar with the song, or simply need a refresher, click here to listen.

Age of Asparagus

When the spoon is in the toddler’s mouth

And the tray is lined with toys

The peas are falling to the floor

And angers girls and boys.

This is the dawning of the age of asparagus,

Age of asparagus,

Asparagus! Asparagus!

Broccoli is still outstanding,

Celery and kale astounding,

Not just pizza, fries and nuggets,

Golden beets, Vidalia onions,

Mystic healthy vegetation

Is the body’s liberation

Asparagus! Asparagus!

Eat some veggies, eat some veggies now, some veggies now! 

Eat some veggies, eat some veggies now, some veggies now! 

(Tyna S. Cline © Sept. 4, 2014)

Repeat the last line over and over again, until the kids stop or until you think you’ll croak if you hear it one more time. Then, pick up the phone, call Sesame Street producers and tell them you have a tip for a new writer for the show. I’ll mention your name when I accept my daytime Emmy.

12 More Lessons From NYC Pedestrians

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A few months ago, I posted some wisdom I’d heard in passing as I walked the streets of Manhattan. I’m happy to report that I’ve gathered 12 more gems to share with you. Being that I try to keep this blog PG13, I’ve used some *s (quite a few, actually), but I’m quite certain you’ll fill in the blanks without effort.

1) A man who sounded much like Joe Pesci, to another man: “How am I supposed to negotiate with you? You’re such a f***ing genius!” Lesson: Know what you’re up against before beginning any negotiations.

2) Young man to young woman: “You need to keep it natural, Bitch.” Lesson: Reconsider that appointment for plastic surgery.

3) Man talking to woman: “I really didn’t believe elephants could paint flowers, either, but it’s real.” Lesson: Keep the faith.

4) Man to woman smoking a cigarette: “It’s true…smoke goes downwind.” Hesitates, then adds, “Or, up.” Lesson: If you want to impress, decide on your story and stick to it.

5) At CVS Pharmacy, older woman to husband: “Oh, that’s why Rosemary’s here, for the ice cream. Want some?” Lesson: Ice cream…not just for Baskin Robbins anymore. (Hidden lesson: pharmaceutical drug companies have planted cholesterol raising foods strategically in their favor.)

6) Sports fan to another: “If we lose, who the f*** cares?” Lesson: It’s a game; lighten up and toss me another beer.

7) Young homeless guy, leaning against a building at a street corner…not sure who he was talking to: “I suggest you take a seat and chill the f*** out!” Lesson: If you’re on meds, please take as directed. (For those keeping score, chalk up another one for pharmaceutical drug companies.)

8) Teenage girl to friends: “Of course, because he’s a f***ing Scorpio!” Lesson: Beware the Scorpio sting. (I’d like to add, my husband, who is a Scorpio, was walking with me at the time. We looked at each other, knowingly, and burst out laughing.

9) Young man to friend: “I’m just mad at f***ing everything!” Lesson: Sometimes, it’s good (and necessary) to make new friends.

10) Worker, loading water bottles into refrigerator at street vendor, to pedestrian: “I’m working here! Don’t touch me, M***er F***er!” Lesson: Bottled water – the source of all evil.

11) An older, scruffy man to a random well-dressed businessman, referring to a nearby drunken man: “That guy on the ground looks like he’s ready to go home and go to bed. It’s a f***in’ shame.” Lesson: If you are going to drink too much, it’s advisable to do it in the comfort of your own home.

12) Woman to man: “This is crazy! This is REALLY CRAZY!” Lesson: One man’s normal is another man’s crazy.

What I think is crazy, after making note of these snippets of conversation, is how little regard people give to cussing, loudly and freely, in public. I don’t even consider myself prudish, I just think a little discretion would be nice. So please, just clean it the f*** up!

Yep. It’s hard to be ladylike.

Bittersweet Inspiration

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By now, if you’ve been paying attention, you are well aware of my love for the music of one Mr. Dan Fogelberg, taken too soon from us at the age of 56. Today would have been his 63rd birthday and in remembrance, I have been listening to his most commercially successful album, The Innocent Age. You know the one, with hits such as, Same Old Lang Syne, Leader of the Band and Run for the Roses. Oh, but there’s so much more!

A poet in his own right, who happened to put his words to music, the opening song, Nexus, reels me in…hook, line and sinker, especially when he gets to these lyrics: “Wealthy the spirit that knows its own flight, Stealthy the hunter who slays his own fright, Blessed the traveler who journeys the length of the light.”

A double album, I am then blissfully entranced for 16 more songs, ending with Ghosts: “Every ghost that calls upon us, Brings another measure in the mystery, Death is there to keep us honest, And constantly remind us we are free.”

The Innocent Age, Dan Fogelberg

Do you feel it, without the music? Are you able, as I am, to immerse yourself in the poetic tone of his lyrics? Of course, this is but a small sampling…two excerpts from two songs from one album among many. My hope is that this might pique the interest of some young readers, those who say, “Dan who?” Perhaps they’ll pull up YouTube and listen to a few of his songs, and when I say listen, I mean really listen. I will go to my grave saying that Dan Fogelberg was the most under appreciated artist of the ’70s and ’80s.

Speaking of graves…getting back to the title of this post, Bittersweet Inspiration. Listening to The Innocent Age, thinking of Dan’s early departure and the recent deaths of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall, all served as inspiration for me to write the following poem. I don’t intend for it to be sad or morbid, rather comforting. I have a soft spot for graveyards and I hope I’ve conveyed it properly.

The Gracious Host

I wait in quiet solitude, alone, yet, not alone

Beneath a canopy of shade, filled with pillars of stone.

I welcome each and every guest into my grassy lot

No appointment necessary, each one will have their spot.

Eternity seems much to ask for protected cover

But I don’t mind, I’ll hold you dear, almost like a lover.

Loved ones will visit, if they like, aiding their survival

To carry on will test their will, after your arrival.

Written by: Tyna S. Cline ©August 13, 2014

The Ultimate Umbrella

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I am not sure why my spirit has been in a poem writing mood, but it has and who am I to argue? I’m calling this one, The Ultimate Umbrella. 

Rain falls gently, rain falls hard.
Rain often cleanses, yet keeps you on guard.
What if the flood gates open,
Wash away your pride? What will happen then?
Will you crumble, will you melt?
Or, will the rough edges soften, like felt?

Tears fall gently, tears fall hard
Tears fall without warning, keep you on guard.
What if the flood gates open,
Wash away your pride? Time to say, “Amen.”
You won’t crumble, you won’t melt.
Self love will likely come, after you’ve knelt.

Tyna S. Cline ©August 11, 2014

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